Mario Vargas Llosa's parents divorced before he was born, and he lived with his mother and grandparents in Bolivia. They remarried, however, when he was 10, and the family moved to Lima. His father opposed his literary and artistic interests and sent him to a military academy, where he encountered all the brutality of machismo. He attended the University of San Marcos in Lima and, after college, became a journalist, living in Paris for seven years writing short stories and writing for newspapers. His first novel, THE TIME OF THE HERO (1962), was based on his military school memories and criticism of the Peruvian military regime; it was denounced as Communist propaganda in Peru, but it brought Vargas Llosa international fame. Since then, he has published several novels and short-story collections, plays, and literary criticism, and has continued to speak out against political abuses. In 2010 the Nobel Prize Academy presented Mr. Vargas Llosa the literary prize "for his cartography of the structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat."
From the Publisher
When Fonchito asks his classmate Nereida whether he can kiss her on the cheek, she tells him she will only let him if he can give her the Moon, which causes him to spend a lot of time looking at it and trying to come up with a solution.